After you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, you’ll get your Student Aid Report, which lists your expected family contribution (EFC) to pay for your college education. Here’s what you need to know about your results and how they’ll factor into your financial aid package.
» MORE: Your guide to financial aid
What is the Student Aid Report?
The Student Aid Report provides basic information about your financial aid eligibility. The report includes your EFC and your answers to questions on the FAFSA. It also includes your four-digit data release number, which you’ll need if you want to give a college the ability to add its school code to your application. If your FAFSA was incomplete, you’ll get instructions on how to resolve any remaining issues before you can receive your EFC.
» MORE: What is financial aid?
Where can you get the Student Aid Report?
It can take from three days to three weeks to get your report — it depends on how you submitted your FAFSA and the information you included on it. If you provided a valid email address on your FAFSA, you’ll get an email with instructions for viewing your report online. Otherwise, you’ll get a Student Aid Report acknowledgment in the mail.
What should you do with your Student Aid Report?
Review the report carefully to make sure all the information you provided is correct. That information determines your EFC and your eligibility for federal and institutional aid, so it’s crucial that it’s accurate and up to date.
If you find a mistake, like an error in your address, go to fafsa.ed.gov to update that information. If the Social Security number on your FAFSA is incorrect, though, you might have to submit a new application. In that case, contact your school’s financial aid office to find out what your next step should be.
If your current financial situation is different than what’s reported in your FAFSA — for example, if your parents’ income this year will be substantially less than the information on the tax returns you provided — talk with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.